Arsenal fans have accused Arsène Wenger of failing to fully utilise new signing Alexandre Lacazette, after subbing him off again in the Watford defeat.
Lacazette has only completed 90 minutes in one match this season so far, against Leicester on the opening day.
The official line from Arsène Wenger is: “He still needs to adapt to the physical aspects of the Premier League and that will take maybe a little bit of time,” reports Goal.
However, Gunners supporters disagree, and the Mirror put together a selection of tweets showing how the fans feel about the constant substitutions.
Lacazette can play wide or behind Giroud. Why does he have to come off every time? Was one of our best players.
— Abhinav (@AbhinavMMA) October 14, 2017
The only reason Wenger is making the Lacazette Sub is to keep Giroud happy. Has no tactical aim to it. https://t.co/D2x3xOWceD
— Metalhead (@BladezofSorrow) October 15, 2017
Stupid Wenger he won't give lacazette 90 mins , look how many goals Lukaku has scored in the last ten minutes of games , makes no sense !
— saif satvilker (@saifarsenal32) October 17, 2017
I took a look at Lacazette’s appearances last season, to see if there was any logic to the substitutions.
In 2016/17, Lacazette played in six different competitions in total, playing all but two of Lyon’s 14 European matches, appearing in both cup competitions and the French Super Cup, and added 30 league appearances on top of all that.
In those league appearances, Lacazette was subbed off before the 75th minute on four occasions, two of which were due to minor injuries. That means, over 30 games he was only brought off twice (maximum) for a rest. Arsenal have already subbed him off by the 75th minute four times.
Lacazette is only playing one game a week. He hasn’t played in the Europa League, he hasn’t played in the League Cup, he’s only played 116 minutes of International football since he joined. There’s no good reason for the Frenchman to be tired.
Perhaps getting 90 minutes under his belt once or twice would help him improve his fitness, if it really is necessary to do so. In addition, making an early substitution every game is harmful to the team, I feel.
It means one less sub for later, and when Watford make a late comeback, you no longer have the option to play Olivier Giroud and Lacazette together.
The former Lyon man proved on day one that he could play 90 minutes. Against Leicester, he scored an early goal and his late chance won the corner for Giroud’s winner. In my opinion, Arsenal will continue to suffer if Wenger doesn’t start playing the striker for at least a bit longer.